Violent Muslim-extremist homophobia has battered France for years.
• Bertrand Delanoë is an openly gay Socialist-party leader. While serving as mayor of Paris, Delanoë was stabbed in the stomach by Azedine Berkane, a devout Muslim and son of Algerian immigrants, at Paris’s City Hall in October 2002. Delanoë survived after two weeks in the hospital.
Jean-Claude Dauvel of Paris’s prosecutor’s office told journalists that Berkane “explained his strong religious views made him reject homosexuality as unnatural.”
“He was a bit like us,” one of Berkane’s neighbors told Le Monde. “We’re all homophobic, because it’s not natural.”
Berkane was detained in a psychiatric hospital, but doctors discharged him as non-threatening. In April 2007, he missed a follow-on medical appointment and has been AWOL ever since.